Much Needed Good News For Koala Population As Joeys Emerge From Pouches
Taronga Zoo has welcomed two koala joeys after they emerged from their mothers' pouches for the first time.
The new pair, Ella and Matteo, were born in February, but have only emerged from their mothers' pouches to explore their new world at the Sydney zoo.
Ella was born to first-time mum Milawa on Feburary 2, while Matteo was born on February 16 and is the second joey for Wattle.
After being born, koalas usually spend another nine months in their mother's pouches until they become stronger for the outside world.
According to the zoo, both joeys have already developed unique personalities and tracking along well.
Laura Jones, Taronga's koala keeper, said it was "fantastic" to see both joeys and mums doing "so well".
"Ella is already experimenting a little with her independence and comfortable sitting on her own, although still staying close to mum," she said.
"Matteo, on the other hand, has proved himself to be adventurous young joey, a healthy eater and a big fan of his leaves."
Taronga Zoo is expecting two more joeys to emerge from the mums' pouches at the start of next year as part of its breeding program.
The arrival of the two joeys is much-needed good news for the koala population on the East Coast after devastating fires, particularly in Port Macquarie on the NSW Far North Coast.
Port Macquarie koalas are unique because there is greater genetic diversity in that area, making the population stronger, Laura Minns, from Taronga Zoo told 10 daily.
Taronga Zoo has been on stand-by to take koalas injured in the fires and have been offering support to Koala Hospital Port Macquarie.
Funds from Taronga's Koala Emergency Appeal will be sent to the Koala Hospital to assist in the rehabilitation of the devastated koala population.